Sunday, September 19, 2010

The ABC Children's Chorus
"These Boots Are Made for Walkin'"

The ABC Children's Chorus
Songs for Children . . . by Children
(ABC-Paramount, 1966)

When I was a kid, I had a little record player, and my parents bought children's records for me. This record, though, was a bit of an oddity. Sure, it was mostly kids singing kids' songs, but then there was this song. What a vindictive song sung to a former lover is doing on a kids' record is beyond me. Perhaps, the liner notes will explain?

Take a dozen energetic youngsters ranging in age from nine to fourteen, match them with a dozen bright familiar songs, and out comes one of the most charmingly lighthearted records you've ever heard!

From the opening note to the last, this first recording by the ABC Children's Chorus bursts with the boundless vitality that only the young possess—and the older than young only remember. As up to date as the latest missile launching, this collection includes the theme song from Batman, the TV series that caught the imagination of children of all ages; and It's Superman, a musical tribute to the superhero whose latest triumph is the starring role in the Broadway musical, It's a Bird...It's a Plane...It's Superman. Another Broadway hit—The King and I—is represented by I Whistle a Happy Tune, and the movie Mary Poppins introduced Chim Chim Cheree. Included also is the chorus's version of two popular hits—These boots Are Made for Walkin' and an unusual rendition of Tijuana Taxi, which has no lyric.

The ABC Children's Chorus consists of five boys and seven girls, who, despite their early achievements in the entertainment world, sing just like your kids would sound if they joined voices with the kids down the block. Enrolled in public schools, junior highs and high schools around the New York City area, these twelve children's ambitions run to show business (I would like to be another Connie Francis. I want to be just like Helen Hayes and Judy Garland. I'd like to be like Gene Kelly, singing and tap dancing), but one would like to be a physicist in nuclear astronautics.

The members of the ABC Children's Chorus have to their individual performing credits numerous Broadway shows (Music Man, Sail Away, Here's Love, The King and I, and Bye Bye Birdie, among others); television appearances (Bell Telephone Hour, Armstrong Circle Theatre, Jonathan Winters Show, Naked City and The Nurses); you've seen some of them in TV commercials; and at least two of the girls have modeled for magazine illustrations and record album jackets. If this professionalism makes them sound less like your own kids—or those next door—don't be fooled. Kids will be kids, and when they get together and sing, they all sound pretty much the same—young and happy, bubbling with energy—and there you have a perfect description of the ABC Children's Chorus.

This album was produced by Richard Wolfe whose varied show business career has encompassed such activities as radio station program director, director and producer of nationwide amateur talent shows, staff writer for Sammy Kaye, musical director for a music publishing firm, president of his own publishing and production companies and a partnership with entertainer Arthur Godfrey in some of the Redhead's musical enterprises. Dick Wolfe is also a highly successful songwriter.

Hmmmmm . . . guess not.

1 biased opinion:

Biki said...

This is the oddest thing i've heard in a really, really long time! Wow! That is trippy to say the least!

Funnily enough, my favorite song from when i was a kid was this song, but by Nancy Sinatra!